“IF YOU RECEIVE MY WORDS”
Today we read what many consider to be the most personally thought challenging chapter in the book of Proverbs. Let us highlight the little word “if” and the context in which it occurs in the opening verses of ch. 2.
It starts, “… if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”
Let us meditate on Solomon’s sequence of thought here. We start by receiving the inspired word and making sure we “treasure” it. An essential part of achieving this is “making your ear attentive … and inclining your heart …” God’s word abounds with wisdom – but are we genuinely “attentive” to it as we read it or hear it read?
Verses 3 & 4 contain two more significant uses of that little word “IF” – We read, “if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures…”
Call out for insight? That means, develop an inward vision! The old A.V. uses the word ‘discernment’! How good is the ‘vision’ in our minds/hearts to discern – and mentally embrace – what we discern?
We should be searching for “hidden treasures” of meaning that our hearts can embrace – and meditate on! When we really succeed in doing this, Solomon says, “then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” [v.5] We will then “understand” what it is to fully appreciate what God must be – and grasp the full ‘power’ of what he has caused to be written and preserved so that we truly ‘know‘ him and have a day by day meditative relationship with him for then we “will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you …” [v.9-11]
This is the wonderful outcome when we “receive” these inspired “words” and treasure them up in our hearts to put into practice every day as the occasion require – and sometimes – demands!. As a conclusion we will just add Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 2 v.26, “to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy.”